Graduate Students

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moroccocrop Victoria Bouloubasis is a journalist and food writer who grew up slurping milkshakes at her grandpa’s aluminum-sided Greek diner. Her writing has appeared in GuernicaThe GuardianThe American ProspectModern FarmerRodale NewsThe Local Palate and INDY Week. In 2014 Victoria directed Un Buen Carnicero, a bilingual documentary by Vittles Films and Southern Foodways Alliance. The film goes behind the courtesies of a North Carolina butcher’s counter to explore the complex realities of immigrant life, celebrating America’s freedom and questioning its convenience. It was selected for the 2015 PBS Online Film Festival and as the encore film of the 2015 NC Latin American Film Festival. She graduated from UNC with a B.A. in Journalism and a B.A. in Spanish. Prior to beginning the master’s program, she managed communications at the nonprofit Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA. Victoria writes about and studies the cultural symbolism and identity associated with food and food labor, sustainable agriculture, the fight for fair food access and workers’ rights.
Victor Bouveron Victor Bouvéron (2015) is a blues enthusiast arriving from Lille, France. He received a B.A in History (2007) and a Master’s in Communications (2009) at the University of Lille 3, France. After graduating, he worked for over five years at the city hall of Villeneuve d’Ascq (France) as the internal communication manager. Victor hosted the weekly blues program “Bluesland” from 2005 to 2015 on Radio Campus Lille and taught classical guitar. He published many articles for various publications, such as L’Express du Pacifique (a newspaper formerly published in British-Columbia, Canada), La Tribune (Villeneuve d’Ascq municipal paper), and Blues Magazine. He’s interested in the history of the blues  in France and its current scene.
Claire Cusick (2014) is a writer, baker and storyteller. She has been a newspaper writer and editor, and now works at UNC in Development Communications in the Office of University Development. She is interested primarily in storytelling, and since great stories happen when people are gathered around a table, she has become interested in food, culture and history.
rachel garringer Rachel Garringer (2015) was raised on a sheep farm in southeastern West Virginia. She received a BA from Hampshire College in 2007. Since then she has worked as a youth advocate and educator in transitional living shelters, GED classrooms, and rural public schools. In 2013 she founded Country Queers, an ongoing multimedia oral history project documenting the diverse experiences of rural and small town LGBTQI folks in the United States. Her interests are in public folklore, oral history, digital humanities, and rural queer experiences. She is excited to use her time at UNC to transition Country Queers into a more collaborative, accountable, community based project.
Anna Keneda Anna Keneda (2015) , originally from Oklahoma, received a B.A. in Political Science from Emory University. After her undergraduate she worked with the Aga Khan Development network teaching and developing English Literature and Music curriculum in Mombasa, Kenya. Anna‘s research interests include the role of music in the study of the global south, modern movements in Southern vernacular music, and the impact of arts organizations in community building strategies.
Rachel Kirby Rachel Kirby (2014) was born a Virginian and raised a North Carolinian, forever conflicted by these statehood identities. She has a B.A. in Art History from the University of North Carolina, and her capstone project examined modes of remembering and forgetting in a post-Civil War portrait of prominent North Carolinian Paul C. Cameron. Before returning to UNC, Rachel worked for the Preservation Society of Charleston, South Carolina where she researched the stories of the city’s historic houses. She is interested in material culture and memory, and she enjoys using the objects of the South as tools for discovering more diverse and holistic understandings of the region’s history and culture. For her thesis, Rachel is exploring the way Duke Homestead State Historic Site and Tobacco Museum constructs and performs the historical narrative associated with their interpretive space.
Shyra Peyton‘s (2014) areas of interest are in public folklore, oral histories, and community preservation projects. In addition to pursuing a folklore degree she is also seeking to obtain a graduate certificate in participatory research. Before coming to the folklore program Shyra worked both as a program and participant assistant for festival programs at the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Prior to that she served as a Peace Corp volunteer in rural Nicaragua. Shyra aims to use her studies in the folklore program to raise the level of appreciation for the cultural diversity found within the African Diaspora.
Emily Ridder-Beardsley Emily Ridder-Beardsley (2015) grew up splitting time between Washington, DC and rural Rappahannock, Virginia. In 2008, she graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a Liberal Arts degree focused on Art History, concentrating on the Tribal Arts of Africa, Oceania and The Americas. She worked for several years following graduation in New York City for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and PBS New York. Emily has most recently been working as a curator at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia and as a curatorial assistant for Jane Livingston, a freelance curator based in Flint Hill, Virginia. Her work with Ms. Livingston will produce an exhibition focusing on the works of four early African American photographers, including Addison Scurlock, James Van Der Zee, P.H. Polk and L.O. Taylor. She is continuing work on this project as she pursues an MA in Folklore and hopes to apply what she learns from the program to similar projects in the future.
zoe van buren Zoe van Buren (2015) grew up in New York City and received her BA with honors in Anthropology from Vassar College in 2013. She is interested in public folklore, race and religious experience, material culture, and occupational folklife in the face of gentrification. As an undergraduate, she was active in the Vassar Prison Initiative, did research on African American old-time string bands and local step teams, and worked with Arts Mid Hudson in Poughkeepsie, NY. Since graduating, she has worked with the New Bedford Working Waterfront Festival and Fishing Heritage Center in New Bedford, MA, and the North Carolina Arts Council, where she was the Folklife Intern before beginning at UNC. Folklore helps her to see resilience and beauty in communities big and small. Her other love is wool, and she is a hard-core knitter and hand-spinner.
jaycievos_2014_square Jaycie Vos (2015) is the Coordinator of Collections for the Southern Oral History Program at UNC, where she works with faculty, students, archivists, activists, and all areas of southern community to preserve and share the South’s rich history. She earned her Master’s in Library Science at UNC in 2013 and her B.A. in English at Truman State University in 2011. In addition to her work on archival description and metadata standards in oral history collections, she is eager to take a closer look at southern communities and music traditions. As a native Iowan, Vos is especially interested in issues of inclusion, exclusion, identity, and authenticity.
 sol 2 Sol Weiner (2014), originally from Dallas, Texas, is passionate about exploring the intersections of landscape, foodways, and community organizing in the U.S. South. In 2014 he graduated from Guilford College with honors, earning a B.S. in Community and Justice Studies. While there he developed a collaborative relationship with the Rural Empowerment Association For Community Help in Warsaw, North Carolina, and worked with them to create a documentary, Swine Country: The Fight For Clean Air and Water in Duplin County, North Carolina. Other interests and passions include playing country and old-time music, taking day trips to barbecue joints, and re-watching The Wire over and over again.